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RCUK release open access policy proposals

The Research Councils UK (RCUK) have put out a press release relating to a proposed policy statement on the use of open access repositories by their grant recipients. This proposal has existed and been widely circulated in draft form and lays out a possible position on open access by the major government research funders.

The position is based on four principles:

The policy as proposed would make it mandatory for grant recipients to deposit a copy of their research articles in an open access repository. Maybe significantly, the proposal does not give a time limit for deposition to occur, although it says that it should be done "at the earliest opportunity, wherever possible at or around the time of publication". In addition, the requirement to deposit material will only apply where publishers give their permission for this to happen. Although the proposal represents a significant advance in the official recognition, approval and use of open access repositories, these two terms may act to reduce the eventual impact of any policy in providing timely open access to research materials.

The proposal is the mid-term result of a large scale consultation exercise among the governmental, commercial and academic stakeholders. This release of this proposal has initiated a further round of consultation, which will close on August 31st 2005.

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